LATHER Sofian Lavender Whipped Body Creme
LATHER Sofian Lavender Whipped Body Creme ($22.00 for 4.0 oz.) is a Bulgarian lavender-scented body cream that comes in a squat, round plastic pot. I’ve been using this body cream for the past couple of weeks before I slip into my pajamas and go to bed, and I really love how fast it absorbs. It has a lighter weight to it, being a whipped cream, than a heavier body butter, but it’s not loose like a lotion. It’s an airy body butter or cream, so it spreads well and doesn’t stick. It absorbs quickly, and it doesn’t turn sticky. The cream hydrates my scaly, dragon skin well (I’m horrible at committing to hydrating my body parts–face, I never skip, the rest… well…) and generally, I feel like it’s been improving the texture of my skin overall, not just when I use it.
Long-time readers will know that I love lavender-scented body products. It’s my go-to scent for when I want to (try to) relax. I love it on my skin, on my bed sheets, and on my pillow at night. I don’t like it to smell too medicinal, but I don’t want it to smell too sweet or perfume-y. I still want a natural, herbaceous quality to come through. The lavender in this body cream is perfect; soft, elegant, and natural. There’s no sweetness from added vanilla, but it doesn’t smell medicinal at all. It lingers on the skin but doesn’t project, so it’s something I can smell when I’m tucked away in bed, but nobody else will smell if they come near me.
water (aqua), glycerin, carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil, stearic acid, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, tocopheryl acetate, phospholipids, tocopheryl acetate, retinyl palmitate, ascorbyl palmitate, cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, ceteareth-20, dimethicone, sodium polyacrylate, tetrasodium EDTA, phenoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol, ethylhexylglycerin, hexylene glycol, triethanolamine, carbomer.
philosophy Raspberry Passion Fruit Dreamsicle Shampoo, Shower Gel, & Bubble Bath
philosophy Raspberry Passion Fruit Dreamsicle Shampoo, Shower Gel, & Bubble Bath ($27.00 for 32 oz.) is described as a “sheer delight of ripe berries, tropical passion fruit, and sweet creaminess.” It smells like raspberries and cream with added sweetness that I felt really came from the “passion fruit” portion–it wasn’t sugary sweet, but a rounded sweetness that was mellow but noticeable. It’s not fresh raspberries; it’s definitely sweeter than that, but as a general fan of all things raspberry, I liked it quite a bit.
The main reason I bought this (besides being a fiend for any new scent by philosophy) was because it came with a pump, and I really wanted to test it out. I have another larger-sized bottle, and when it’s full, it makes me nervous–heavy, slippery, and I constantly envision dropping it on my foot. Plus, I love pump-based bottles, because then you can control the amount you use and use the same amount consistently. The pump worked really well, and the stem seemed long enough to be able to reach the bottom–you probably will have half an inch or so of product that will remain but otherwise, it should get the majority of the product out. The plastic used on this bottle is the softer, more squeezable type (like the travel-sized bottles, not the regularly-sized ones), which is my preference.
I’m a fan of the formula, because it lathers up quickly and well, is very aromatic in the shower (but the scent doesn’t linger throughout the day, which, while a personal preference, is my preference), and doesn’t dry out my skin. As a shampoo, it’s just so-so; gets the job done but doesn’t feel like it does anything extra. As a bubble bath, it works well and smells great–but I so rarely take baths, I inevitably use these 95% of the time as shower gels.
philosophy The Cookbook Collection
Cook Up Some Holiday Treats
philosophy The Cookbook Collection ($38.00 for 5 x 6 fl. oz.) includes five holiday-themed scents in philosophy’s 3-in-1 gel, which can be used as shampoo, shower gel, or bubble bath. Each year, they put out The Cookbook, and it’s a great gift to give/receive. I actually like philosophy’s smaller bottles, because they use a softer, frosted plastic, which makes it easier to squeeze out the product, compared to the larger bottles, which use a harder, clear plastic.
- Old Fashioned Eggnog is sweet and creamy with lots of vanilla and a smidgen of spice.
- Hot Buttered Rum is warm, buttery, and caramel-like sweetness. It was the sweetest, most powerful scent out of the five.
- Peppermint Bark sweetened chocolate and mint–it’s exactly as described (well, all of these are!).
- Cinnamon Buns is creamy with sugar and cinnamon. It’s not quite as potent as the smell when you walk by a Cinnabon, but it’s similar.
- Spicy Pear Cobbler is all tart, crisp pear. I didn’t get the cobbler part; it doesn’t smell like a baked good, just fruity with more tartness than sweetness. It was the scent that I liked the most, actually, out of the five–very refreshing to use in the morning.
These are weakest as shampoos; they cleanse, but I feel like they’re really basic and probably won’t be a go-to shampoo for anyone with picky hair. They definitely don’t lather as much as a shampoo as they do as a bubble bath or shower gel. I very rarely take baths, so I tend to use these as shower gels. It takes two of us a couple of months to get through one 16 fl. oz. bottle–about a month for these smaller ones–so the cost-per-use stretches quite a bit. The formula lathers up well, rinses cleanly off without drying out the skin, and they really scent up the shower. The scents do not linger on the skin once washed out, which may be something you want or don’t want.
philosophy Boughs of Holly & Sparkling Cranberry 3-in-1 Gels
Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly
philosophy Boughs of Holly 3-in-1 Gel and philosophy Sparkling Cranberry 3-in-1 Gel (each $22.00 for 24 fl. oz.) are super-sized, holiday-themed scents in philosophy’s 3-in-1 formula (shampoo, shower gel, and bubble bath). I am a long-time fan of philosophy’s 3-in-1, and there’s always at least one scent in our shower. We really try to finish one before opening another, but it can take months to get through a regular-sized bottle (16 fl. oz.)! Both of these holiday scents come in decorative heavy-duty cardboard cylinders–perfect for giving.
Boughs of Holly smells like crisp berries, a little greenery, and a touch of spice. It’s lightly sweetened, and the predominantly scent is berries/fruit. Sparkling Cranberry smells exactly as it is named; there’s the fizzy, bubbly soda scent along with the sweet-and-tart scent of cranberries. Both are red with glitter in them, though Boughs of Holly is a deeper red. The scents do not linger beyond the shower, which you may love or you might prefer a lingering scent, but it will be aromatic while you use it and as you shower/bathe.
I like the formula best as a shower gel and bubble bath, as it does both well, and as a shampoo, it cleans, but I think if you have hair that is at all picky or particular about its products, you’ll want to stick to your regular products. It has an excellent lather, slips and slides across the skin well, and never leaves my skin feeling dry.
I Did It! At-Home Waxing!
MOOM Hair Removal Kit with Tea Tree Oil (Classic) ($19.95) is a sugar-based hair removal system. According to MOOM, the creator brought “sugar, chamomile, lemon juice, water, and tea tree oil” together to create the system. It’s supposed to contain certified organic chamomile, lemon juice, tea tree oil, sugar; and then water. The idea behind MOOM was to combine the benefits of waxing and sugaring without any drawbacks.
Since moving, I had to give up my previous wax therapist. I’ve tried waxing at a local spa here, which was rather expensive, and it was the most painful waxing experience I’ve ever had. It’s amazing how important it is to have a good experience; even if painful, a good therapist will help you through it, whether by helping you time your breathing, applying pressure, etc. I had painful bruising that lasted for four days. I’ve used two therapists (both were excellent) prior to the bad experience, so luckily, I didn’t swear off of waxing–but I might have if my more recent experience was my first.
I decided to do something I didn’t think I’d ever attempt again: at-home bikini waxing. The last time I attempted this, it ended with me on the floor–crying–trying to remove all the wax and feeling like there was no hope for removal. It was rather traumatic at the time, LOL! I looked on Amazon for highly reviewed hair removal products, and I ended up purchasing MOOM (4/5 stars, 320 reviews, Prime shipping, and $13.33!).
I wasn’t expecting to write a review, but I was so impressed by the product that I felt compelled to share! The kit contained 6 oz. of the hair remover, 18 washable/reusable fabric strips, and 4 wooden applicators (two small, two large). It actually wasn’t very painful. It’s not something that feels good, but it’s more than tolerable and doesn’t persist. I was surprised at how little pain there was. What impressed me more was that the remover was truly water soluble and while sticky like honey, it completely dissolved in seconds under water. The fabric strips really are reusable, too, as the remover dissolves and dislodges from the fabric, along with any hair.
The removal process is very much like waxing. You heat up the jar in 10-second increments until it’s warm but not hot–and it actually holds temperature well, as I didn’t need to reheat it during the time I was using it (about a half hour). Then, you use the wooden spatula to spread a thin layer across the area, spreading in the direction of the hair growth. Next, press the fabric strip over the area and smooth it over a few times. Finally, pull the fabric strip in the opposite direction of the hair growth.
I’m pleased to report soft, smooth, hair-free skin that’s neither red, irritated, or bruised. MOOM was exactly as described, and extremely impressive for someone who was rather nervous about doing it themselves! I’m over the moon that the fabric strips are reusable, because those are often the most costly part of at-home waxing. I used about half the jar for this go-round, which would be 3 oz., but it was my first try, so I might be more efficient next time You can purchase 12 oz. jars of MOOM for $19.95 (MSRP). Compared to a $75 wax at the salon, ~$5 each time is a total steal.
MAC To the Beach Body Oil
MAC Hey, Sailor: To the Beach Body Oil
MAC To the Beach Body Oil ($22.50 for 1.7 fl. oz.) is available in two shades: Man Rays (glowing tan with multi-dimensional golden shimmer) and Seaside (dirty blushy pink with multi-dimensional sparkles). They’re designed to impart a “sheer sheen and sexy gleam to skin” while softening and moisturizing the skin.
The two are noticeably different, but I think if this is your type of product, you don’t need both. Man Rays is a warm-toned bronze with gold sparkle, so when you apply and blend it out, it imparts a subtle warmth and noticeable gold sparkle. There is a sheen, but there is a lot of sparkle. Seaside is nearly colorless with white/silver sparkle. It didn’t add any tint or warmth to my skin tone, just sheen and sparkle. I think Man Rays is more suitable and usable for summer, when a lot of people are reaching for self-tanners and the like. It’s sheer and not overly warm, so I think cool complexions can still happily enjoy it. But if you want to be on the safe side, then Seaside would be most suitable for cooler complexions. I didn’t think the silver sparkle looked so great against my warmer undertones. Man Rays does seem similar to To the Beach’s Bronze.
There was no noticeable scent, nothing fragranced but no chemical scent or the like either. It comes in a plastic bottle with a pump dispenser that you can lock and unlock, which is great for travel. I had no problems with the pump on Man Rays and was able to get half a pump or a full pump with ease, but Seaside spurted out in big blobs. Both body oils impart that glossy sheen and lots of sparkle. The sparkle is downplayed indoors, but it does catch the light well outdoors.